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Watching Tom Cruise and Mr Bean could help people with dementia

Charity Dementia UK recommends films to improve mood and engagement

Charity Dementia UK recommends films to improve mood and engagement


Tom Cruise in the 1980s action film Top Gun. Picture: Alamy

Watching Tom Cruise in the action film Top Gun, or the slapstick routines of comedians, could be therapeutic for people with dementia, according to a charity.

Dementia UK has put together a list of film suggestions for families who have a relative with dementia.

The recommendations feature simple plotlines, music and an element of interactivity.

Laughter and reminiscence

Recommended films for people with dementia

  • Mamma Mia!
  • The Sound of Music
  • My Fair Lady
  • South Pacific
  • Top Gun
  • Ghost
  • Pretty Woman
  • Laurel and Hardy films
  • Mr Bean: The Movie

Source: Dementia UK

The charity says many older people diagnosed with dementia grew up watching the slapstick routines of Laurel and Hardy. They add that their comedic routines can be a welcome distraction, and their films would allow people to reminisce.

Meanwhile, the hit 1980s film Top Gun could be a suitable choice for younger people diagnosed with dementia because the straightforward plotline might be able to hold their attention.

The film version of the musical Mamma Mia! is also recommended because the interactive music and songs could help to engage people with dementia.

Elevating mood

Dementia UK chief executive and chief Admiral nurse Hilda Hayo said: ‘No experience of dementia is the same, and families are always best placed to know which films or other activities would appeal to their family member with dementia.

‘However, there are certain genres or styles that can be appealing to someone with dementia, including films with simple storylines and ones with a strong action, comedic or musical element.

‘They undoubtedly help to elevate the mood of a person with dementia, helping them to stay engaged and connected to their families and wider society.’ 


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